Nearly 30 flood warnings issued as UK faces heavy rain

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

LONDON: More than 20 flood warnings are in force across south-west England as the UK faces heavy rain but a decreasing risk of snow, forecasters have said.

Met Office yellow weather warning for rain was in place across parts of southern England, south-east Wales and into the Midlands which will last until 6pm on Monday.The Environment Agency has issued 28 flood warnings, mainly in Dorset and Somerset, as heavy rain is causing river levels to rise.

National Highways said the A303 in Somerset was closed eastbound between the A37/A372 at Podimore and the A359 near Sparkford because of flooding, with no time estimated for when it would reopen.

Flooding has blocked the railway line between Taunton and Westbury, affecting Great Western Railway (GWR) and CrossCountry services.GWR trains to London are being diverted via Bristol, extending journey times by up to two hours.

Services were already reduced due to industrial action by train drivers.Extreme rainfall in the Crewkerne area of Somerset means fewer trains than normal can run between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction. Passengers were advised not to travel between Salisbury and Exeter.

A yellow rain warning is also in place for north-east England from midday on Monday until 9am on Tuesday.Drivers have been warned they face “very treacherous icy conditions” in parts of the UK on Monday after another night of sub-zero temperatures.

A yellow weather warning for ice by the Met Office is in place across much of the north of England until noon on Monday, with further warnings for snow covering the eastern side of Scotland, high ground in Wales and the Peak District until the same time. Overnight temperatures, which dipped to around or below freezing in many of the affected areas, were expected to cause icy patches on untreated surfaces due to thawed snow refreezing.

On Monday some 800 properties in Cumbria, primarily in South Lakeland, were still without power following heavy snow in the county over the weekend, according to Electricity North West.

The energy company’s customer director, Stephanie Trubshaw, said: “Our teams are continuing to battle difficult conditions and are facing a significant engineering challenge to carry out mass repair work.

“We’ve made good progress overnight restoring power to a further 700 properties and teams left our local depots this morning, and we’ve got all outstanding incidents resourced.”Cumberland Council said nearly 40 schools would remain closed on Monday due to the conditions.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told the PA news agency the risk of snow was now lessening and would “more or less be confined to Scottish mountains” by the end of the week.